Watermelon seedlings that grow well

When to Plant Watermelon in NC?

Watermelons, with their juicy sweetness, are a beloved summer treat in North Carolina. To enjoy a bountiful harvest of these refreshing fruits, it’s crucial to plant them at the right time. North Carolina’s climate varies across the state, making timing an essential consideration for successful watermelon cultivation. In this guide, we’ll explore the factors to consider when determining when to plant watermelons in North Carolina. From understanding the state’s diverse climate to selecting the perfect watermelon varieties, we’ll provide you with a seasonal roadmap for a fruitful watermelon garden.

Survival Garden Seeds – Sugar Baby Watermelon Seed for Planting – Packet with Instructions to Plant and Grow Little Round Watermelons in Your Home Vegetable Garden – Non-GMO Heirloom Variety
  • Summer Flavor – Small 6-10 pound round watermelons are packed with sweetness and fit perfectly in the bottom of your fridge or icebox.
  • Summer Flavor – Small 6-10 pound round watermelons are packed with sweetness and fit perfectly in the bottom of your fridge or icebox.
  • Compact Vines – Sugar Baby watermelons vines are compact and space saving while being very productive.
  • Grow Now or Later – Plant now or store for future growing seasons. Will remain viable for years if stored in a cool dry location. Each packet has instructions for saving seeds so you can perpetuate your harvest and share with others.
  • Easy to Grow – Seeds are packed in a beautiful paper packet with instructions for successful growing and germination in your own home garden. Getting started is simple for both beginner and experienced gardeners.

INorth Carolina’s Climate

North Carolina boasts a diverse climate, with regions that experience varying temperature ranges and precipitation patterns. The western mountains have a cooler and wetter climate, while the eastern coastal areas have a milder, more humid climate. Understanding this climate diversity is essential for successful watermelon cultivation. Depending on your location within the state, you’ll need to adapt your planting times and techniques to suit the local climate conditions. It’s also crucial to monitor frost dates and temperature fluctuations to protect your watermelon plants.

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Choosing the Right Watermelon Varieties

Selecting the right watermelon variety is key to a successful harvest in North Carolina. The state’s diverse climate offers opportunities for early, mid, and late-season varieties. Early-season varieties like ‘Sugar Baby’ are well-suited for those looking to harvest watermelons as soon as possible, while mid and late-season varieties like ‘Crimson Sweet’ and ‘Charleston Gray’ extend your harvest period. Your choice of variety should align with your location within the state and your preference for when you’d like to enjoy your watermelons. By selecting the appropriate watermelon varieties, you can optimize your chances of a fruitful and delicious watermelon season.

Early Spring Planting

In North Carolina, early spring is a promising time to begin your watermelon planting journey. This typically occurs around March or April, depending on your specific location within the state. To get a head start, you can begin by starting watermelon seeds indoors. This allows you to control the early growth stages and protect your seedlings from late frosts that can still occur in certain areas. Once the threat of frost has passed, you can transplant your seedlings into your prepared garden beds. Early spring planting sets the stage for a longer growing season, which can result in an earlier watermelon harvest, making it ideal for those who can’t wait to savor these sweet fruits.

Late Spring Planting

For those who prefer to wait a bit longer, late spring, typically from late April to early May, is another opportune time for planting watermelons in North Carolina. During this period, the soil has warmed up, and the risk of late frosts is significantly reduced. Late spring planting offers the advantage of direct seeding, where you can sow watermelon seeds directly into the garden soil. Alternatively, you can transplant seedlings if you started them indoors earlier. This method is well-suited for gardeners who prefer a more straightforward approach to planting. By late spring, the weather is generally more stable, creating favorable conditions for watermelon growth. Whether you choose early or late spring planting, ensure your watermelon plants receive the appropriate care and attention they need to thrive and produce a delightful summer harvest.

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Early Summer Planting

In warmer regions of North Carolina, particularly in the eastern part of the state, early summer planting in June is a viable option. By this time, the soil has reached an ideal temperature for watermelon cultivation. When opting for early summer planting, it’s essential to consider the warming weather and make sure your watermelon plants receive adequate moisture to combat the rising temperatures. Planting in early summer allows you to stagger your harvest and enjoy watermelons well into the late summer months. However, be vigilant about watering and protecting your plants from the heat to ensure a successful crop.

Preparing for Harvest

As the watermelon plants grow and develop, it’s crucial to know when they are ready for harvest. Keep an eye out for signs of ripeness, such as a change in the skin’s color, a dull sound when you thump the fruit, and tendrils near the stem turning brown and drying up. Once you’ve identified these signals, it’s time to harvest your watermelons. Be sure to handle the fruit with care to avoid damaging it during the harvesting process. After harvesting, you can store your watermelons in a cool, dry place to maintain their freshness until you’re ready to enjoy their sweet, juicy goodness.


In North Carolina, the timing of planting watermelons is a crucial factor in ensuring a successful harvest. With the state’s diverse climate, gardeners have various opportunities to cultivate these delectable fruits throughout the growing season. Whether you opt for early spring planting, late spring planting, or even consider early summer planting in warmer areas, your choice should align with your location and your preference for the timing of your watermelon harvest. By carefully selecting the right watermelon varieties, understanding your local climate, and being attentive to signs of readiness for harvest, you can look forward to a season filled with the satisfaction of growing and enjoying your very own North Carolina watermelons.

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About the author

Victoria Nelson

Victoria Nelson is a passionate gardener with over a decade of experience in horticulture and sustainable gardening practices. With a degree in Horticulture, she has a deep understanding of plants, garden design, and eco-friendly gardening techniques. Victoria aims to inspire and educate gardeners of all skill levels through her engaging articles, offering practical advice drawn from her own experiences. She believes in creating beautiful, biodiverse gardens that support local wildlife. When not writing or gardening, Victoria enjoys exploring new gardens and connecting with the gardening community. Her enthusiasm for gardening is infectious, making her a cherished source of knowledge and inspiration.

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